Sizzling Skillet Hash

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With leisurely weekend brunches in mind we put together a breakfast hash recipe that features a favorite Greek pork and lamb sausage with a twist of orange and fennel, Loukaniko. We remember our yiayia showcasing this tangy, smokey sausage in many of her luncheon dishes. She would fry it up alongside a platter of feta, Kalamata olives and Greek bread for a mezze platter or add it to a pasta for a one-dish meal. If we were lucky, she often would slip us a piece from the sizzling skillet before the meal, and making sure we didn’t ruin our appetites.

We showcase the Loukaniko in a complex hash for weekend brunch company. For a burst of flavor and sweetness to balance the saltiness of the feta and Loukaniko, we add roasted sweet potatoes and roasted red peppers. We lay a perfectly fried egg on top that seeps into the plated medley.

Greek Hash with Loukaniko, Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Red Peppers and Feta Cheese

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Feta Frenzy

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While most people have put away their painted eggs and finished off their remaining chocolate rabbits and jelly beans, we just celebrated Greek Easter earlier this month. To prepare ourselves for our excessive feta consumption, we whipped up a light feta dip for some friends.

Htipiti is a spread combining the salty cheese with roasted red peppers and spices, kind of like a Greek Romesco Sauce. We love to serve the orangey red blend as a dip with our absolute favorite chips, Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips or as a spread atop a lamb burger or flatbread. The blend of Mediterranean flavors in every bite triggers our taste buds for the meal ahead.

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip (Htipiti)

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Citrus and Cheese: Baked Feta with Thyme-Infused Candied Kumquats

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We first discovered kumquats a few years ago, and were amazed that you could just pop the tiny, elliptical bright orange fruits into your mouth, rind and all. The unconventional citrus fruits have a tart pulp on the interior and sweet pith on the exterior. The contrasting flavors tantalize your taste buds in every bite. While often a rarity in grocery stores, we recommend you keep an eye out for them around the winter months and enjoy them whole, or as a standout in any tart, sweet syrup or puree.

For a quick and stunning hors d’oeuvre, we recommend thinly slicing the kumquats, and candying them over the stove with a touch of thyme. We then spoon the vibrant compote atop a block of baked feta cheese. The creamy, pungent, salty feta melts slightly in the oven and pairs perfectly with the super sweet kumquat topping. We spread the decorative melted cheese atop toasted sliced bread with a sprinkling of pleasantly spicy pink peppercorns.

Baked Feta with Thyme-Infused Candied Kumquats 

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A Salsa for Summer: Grilled Watermelon and Feta

As I get older and now that I have life all figured out (Ha!  Sense the sarcasm, folks), I am less embarrassed about stuff. I used to be the girl who turned beet red and just about died from humiliation over the tiniest things.  Now, if I trip in front of you (I most likely will) I’ll just smile and wave.  Saying something stupid?  I do it on the daily.  I’m okay with it.

The one thing I am consistently still embarrassed over is my iPod music selection. The worst part is that I voluntarily put all the crazy embarrassing music on there. Just to give you a taste, there are about 300 songs including Pitbull (face getting red), assorted 90’s rappers (getting redder), maybe some country (eyes closed in shame) and a butt-load of Glee renditions (maximum levels of musical embarrassment reached).  I’m just gonna tell you, I sometimes roll my eyes when listening to my iPod alone.  I need an intervention.

Why am I discussing this with you today?  Well, I had some willing taste-testers hanging around my kitchen while I made this killer salsa aaaaand my iPod was on the speaker dock. So, when I think about this salsa, I will forever associate it with the delicious flavors of fresh watermelon with a grilled char and tangy feta, along with the ear raping sounds of Miley Cyrus.  Oy.  Y’all, forget I wrote this, okay?

Grilled Watermelon & Feta Salsa

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Spanakopita Spawns a Salad

Spanakopita—spinach and cheese pie encased in phyllo dough—is our absolute favorite Greek dish. So for summer, we decided to create a potato salad inspired by spanakopita. To celebrate our yiayia’s famous pastry, we mixed the savory, cheesy filling with warm, garlicy roasted potatoes.  The addition of kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes and fresh dill adds color while keeping the Greek theme and further amplifying the tasty side.

While spanakopita is notoriously a labor-intensive dish, this potato salad is an easy, foolproof side for any summer BBQ.

Spanakopita Potato Salad

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Eyes Before Taste Buds: Panzanella Salad

Sure, it’s great when food tastes good, but any food blogger will tell you that what’s really important is presentation. Colorful, vibrant food is instantly appealing. Looking at a wall of penny candy or a heaping bowl of fruit, you are mesmerized by the abundance of color. If it’s appealing to the eye, it must be appealing to your taste buds, right? We felt this way when we first created this summery, visually enticing side dish. Panzanella salad, a classic Tuscan summer dish, celebrates fresh garden produce.

Classic panzanella incorporates stale, unsalted Tuscan bread. Since we do not keep stale bread on hand (who doesn’t finish bread before it goes stale?) we decided to char a fresh French baguette. The toasted baguette inside the dish absorbs the vinaigrette while maintaining its crunch alongside the fresh cubed vegetables. The married flavors are a kaleidoscope of color and texture.

Panzanella Salad

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Feta is Betta: Spinach and Feta-Jalapeño Dip Turkey Burger

Well, it’s about that time to start firing up the grill for backyard barbeques. I love a good burger, but turkey burgers have a special place in my heart belly, also.
This turkey burger is a gem that I offer you to impress your friends and family. It is moist and flavorful with the lovely tang of feta. Like I always say, “Feta makes it betta’.”
If you aren’t crazy about ground turkey, ground chicken or beef would be good in this recipe, also. Or at least make the feta dip and dip some pita chips in it. Because you’re worth it.

Spinach & Feta-Jalapeño Dip Turkey Burger

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